According to the union, the strike began at 10 p.m. on Wednesday. It is scheduled to end today at 6 p.m. In northern Germany, the platforms are largely empty and only a few trains run according to an emergency plan. “It’s very quiet everywhere. The passengers have probably adjusted to it,” said a spokeswoman for Deutsche Bahn.
Only a fifth of the long-distance trains are running – and that will remain the case this evening
The railway is now planning for the period after the strike: the emergency timetable with only around 20 percent of normal long-distance traffic will initially continue to apply after the strike ends this evening, said railway spokesman Achim Stauß. “Our whole priority is to get traffic moving again tomorrow on this important Friday.” You can travel with particularly long ICE trains, but since only every fifth train is on the way, there is no space for all travelers. Freight transport was also hit hard. Hundreds of trains, some with time-critical goods, are backlogged. They want to resolve this quickly with special shifts.
The situation in northern Germany is made more difficult by the fact that on Wednesday afternoon ICE rammed a regional train on the important route between Hamburg and Bremen. No one was injured and the route had to be temporarily closed. A track there is now free again.
Deutsche Bahn tickets can also be used later
The railway asked all customers to postpone planned trips if possible. Under the Telephone number (08000) 99 66 33 you can find out about the effects of the strike.
There is also information about goodwill regulations and exchange options for tickets that have already been purchased on a website the train. It says that all passengers who want to postpone their trip planned for the time of the strike can use their ticket at a later date.
Lower Saxony: “Maintain minimum offer”
The DB Regio Lower Saxony and Bremen says it is trying to maintain a minimum timetable. “Nevertheless, in this situation we cannot guarantee that all travelers will reach their destination,” the company said. On the route between Cuxhaven and Hamburg, a shuttle bus service has been set up between Cadenberge and Stade. The warning strike also affects connections of the Transdev company, which includes both the Nordwestbahn and the Hanover S-Bahn. The latter assumes that a large part of the train services will be canceled.
The railway companies metronom and erixx are not on strike. The companies said there could still be disruptions. “Due to the strike, an increased number of passengers on our trains can generally be expected,” says a statement from metronom. “Travellers should therefore expect delays and other restrictions in the form of busy trains.”
Schleswig-Holstein: Emergency timetable on the main routes
The regional trains in Schleswig-Holstein operate according to an emergency timetable. Between Lübeck and Hamburg, for example, there is a one-hour cycle. Between Kiel and Hamburg there is a two-hour interval and between Sylt and Hamburg there is a three-hour interval. Many other connections are canceled completely, and in some cases buses run instead.
The operator erixx, however, expects normal operations on its route between Kiel and Lübeck. However, trains could be delayed or canceled if the signal boxes are also on strike, a spokesman said. The car train to Sylt run by the private operator RDC Deutschland was also not affected by the warning strike, a company spokeswoman said. The blue car train is running according to plan.
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: “Massive restrictions”
The warning strike is also leading to “massive restrictions” in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, as a spokeswoman for Deutsche Bahn said. There are almost no trips left in DB regional transport. The goal is to be able to serve all regional lines in the northeast again from Friday morning. According to Deutsche Bahn, the lines RB11 (Wismar-Rostock-Ticino) and RB12 (Rostock-Rövershagen-Graal-Müritz) as well as the rail replacement service with buses between Warnemünde and Rostock are not affected by the warning strike in MV. The track systems on the route will, among other things, be modernized until the beginning of December.
Buses are in use on the RE1 line between Schwerin and Hamburg, as well as between Greifswald and Angermünde and between Güstrow and Rostock. The private company Ostdeutsche Eisenbahn (Odeg) also expected disruptions and failures on its lines, even if it is not directly on strike. Odeg uses the infrastructure of Deutsche Bahn. In the morning, however, according to the information, everything was running smoothly on the seven regional lines.
Hamburg: S-Bahn runs according to emergency timetable
In Hamburg, the first restrictions on S-Bahn traffic occurred well before the official start of the strike. Today the S-Bahn is running according to an emergency timetable, the railway said. Trains would run on the lines S1 Wedel – Airport/Ohlsdorf – Poppenbüttel, S3 Pinneberg-Neugraben and S21 between Aumühle and Altona, but not at the usual frequency. “Due to the unclear situation, travel times will only be available at short notice,” it said. And even after the warning strike ends, there will still be train cancellations.
Bahn cancels collective bargaining negotiations
Union leader Claus Weselsky had declared about the warning strike: “The employees’ dissatisfaction is great, their concerns are legitimate.” Anyone who thinks they can “cynically play for time” at the expense of their employees is mistaken. Deutsche Bahn (DB) responded to the strike announcement by canceling the second round of collective bargaining planned for today and tomorrow. “Either you go on strike or you negotiate. You can’t do both at the same time,” said Human Resources Director Martin Seiler on Wednesday.
Passenger association: Strike understandable, notice period too short
The honorary chairman of the Pro Bahn passenger association, Karl-Peter Naumann, criticized on NDR Info on Wednesday morning the short notice period for the strike: “The GDL is allowed to strike, you have to say that again and again. But you really can’t say that we are happy about it.” He called for a notice period of at least 48 hours to be observed for the benefit of passengers. Nevertheless, from the union’s point of view, the timing of the strike is tactically understandable.
He also considers GDL’s demands, such as a reduction in working hours, to be understandable: “This is a very important point for people who work 24/7.” The demand for a 35-hour week is “certainly understandable,” said Naumann. “We need such attractive conditions in the railway sector, because there are a lot of train drivers missing, a lot of signalmen missing – and the people all have to work a lot.” In order for the profession to become more attractive, “generous leisure regulations” are needed.
Labor disputes had already become apparent
There had already been signals before and after the first round of negotiations last week that there could be a labor dispute. The previous collective agreement with the union expired at the end of October, so warning strikes are possible at any time. GDL boss Weselsky had indicatedthat he considers a collective bargaining round without strikes to be unlikely.
Union demands shorter working hours and more money
According to Bahn, the GDL is negotiating for almost 10,000 employees of the state-owned company. The union is demanding, among other things, 555 euros more per month. In addition, the working hours for shift workers should be reduced to 35 of 38 hours per week without a reduction in wages. In addition, a one-off tax-free inflation bonus of 3,000 euros is required. The contract term should not exceed twelve months. The railway rejects the demands as too high. According to their information, they would mean a total volume of 50 percent more.
The post first appeared on www.ndr.de